Mike Becky

Tag Archive for ‘Media Temple’

Media Temple Brand Retiring ➝

Joseph Palumbo:

For the past 24 years, Media Temple dedicated itself to serving the needs of the digital creative community. Thus, our mantra—for creatives, by creatives.  This mantra led to our decision that now is the time to retire the Media Temple brand and fully integrate into GoDaddy.

I signed up for Media Temple in 2009, mostly due to the influence of Shawn Blanc and Shaun Inman. Back when Media Temple was first acquired by GoDaddy, I was pretty happy to stick around. But once web browsers became a bit more hostile toward sites without SSL certificates, I moved to SiteGround.

I was still pretty happy with Media Temple overall, but they didn’t offer free SSL certificates or an easy way to integrate with services like Let’s Encrypt. I haven’t been on Media Temple in about two years and I knew this would happen eventually, but it’s still sad to see a service retiring that I had such a fondness for.

➝ Source: mediatemple.net

Web Hosting

SiteGround Homepage

I’ve been hosting Initial Charge and my other web projects on Media Temple since sometime in 2009. Prior to that, I was using 1&1 for hosting. I made the move at that point because I wanted something better, with an emphasis on user interface, and because I wanted to be where the cool kids were.

You see, I knew that Shawn Blanc hosted his site on Media Temple. He was, and continues to be, someone I look up to in this whole web publishing space. But after nearly twelve years with Media Temple, I’m feeling the itch to seek greener pastures again.

I have some degree of familiarity with who the big players are in this space. With my work at WordPress.com, I often interact with users that are coming from or moving to other web hosts. But that doesn’t really give me a good indication of who the good hosts are, just who is popular. So before I made a decision of who to move to, I needed to do some research.

I watched a handful of YouTube videos comparing several of the top players. Darrel Wilson has some great videos in this space, ranking the top contenders and focusing heavily on speed and reliability. I also did a bit of web searching to see what others are saying.

The web searches were mostly unfruitful. The vast majority of articles I found felt more like they were motivated by what services offer the best affiliate programs, rather than by who has the best service.

In the end, I determined SiteGround is the way to go.

The plan I chose was priced a bit higher upon renewal than my Media Temple plan — about $25–30 per month, depending on the frequency of billing, compared to the $20 I was paying Media Temple. But that doesn’t take into account the cost of SSL. You see, Media Temple can use Let’s Encrypt, but there wasn’t a way to automatically renew the certificate. So I either had to pay Media Temple for an SSL certificate or manually renew it periodically.

I was just paying for SSL certificates because the hassle of manually renewing the Let’s Encrypt certificates was too much of a hassle. But that increased my hosting costs by $79 per year for each certificate I had. With one for Initial Charge and one for #OpenWeb, that put my effective monthly payment at around $33 per month. That’s actually higher than SiteGround and if I switch hosts, I can easily add SSL to all of my other projects with automated renewal at no additional cost.

I purchased SiteGround’s GrowBig plan last week and have started moving my web projects over one-by-one. So far I’ve moved a static site, and migrated two sites to WordPress — one from Squarespace and one from Tumblr. It’s been a very enjoyable experience. SiteGround makes deploying WordPress sites quite easy and they offer a plugin — SG Optimizer — that works hand-in-hand with their hosting service to setup caching and site performance features.

I plan to migrate my remaining sites over the coming weeks — including Initial Charge, which I’ll do last so I can perfect the process and minimize any interruptions. I’m hoping their migration plugin will do the trick, but am prepared to handle things in a more manual fashion, if necessary.

But this has also given me an opportunity to build some other projects that I’ve had in my mind for a while. The first is a weblog designed to obfuscate my usage of Twitter and Instagram — mike.rockwell.mx. Essentially, most of what I publish to Twitter will be posted to my own site first and automatically shared to Twitter using IFTTT. The photos I publish there will also be cross-posted to Instagram using an iOS shortcut to streamline the process.

My goal is to think of mike.rockwell.mx as my canonical location for more personal and short-form sharing. And to think of Twitter and Instagram more as syndication channels — similar to RSS, but with built-in interaction mechanisms. Down the line, I’d like to pull those interactions back into mike.rockwell.mx, but I’m still trying to figure out the best way to do that or whether or not it is realistically feasible.

For anyone curious, the site is using the Twenty Nineteen theme with some CSS customizations alongside the Two Factor plugin, Akismet, and Jetpack for traffic statistics, backups, and some security features.

I have more projects up my sleeve, but they’re mostly for me personally. I’d like to build out my own cloud services suite, of sorts. With a self-hosted RSS reader, read-later service, and a notes system being high on the list. Depending on how that goes, I might be writing about them here in the future.

This experience has further bolstered my love of the open web. This stuff is really fun. And it feels good to have more ownership and control over what I publish online. I’d like to see others start doing the same. I think it would do a lot to improve our collective mental wellbeing and facilitate more healthy conversations in general.

Why Not Google? ➝

Marco Arment:

I didn’t set out to aggressively quit Google-everything, but once I changed my browsers’ default search engine to DuckDuckGo, that has mostly happened. The most surprising part was how easy it was for Google to mostly fall out of my life, how quickly it happened, and how little I missed it.

I too have slowly dropped Google services from my life. At this point, Gmail and YouTube are the only two Google products I continue to use. Gmail, because I have a decade-old email address that I’m not quite ready to give up on and YouTube because it’s the video service where all of the content is.

But unlike Marco, I have made a conscious effort to remove Google from my life. When they turned their back on Google Reader users by shutting down the service I realized that I should never rely so heavily on products that I don’t pay for. Because if you’re not paying for the product, you are the product.

That’s why I’ve been using Mint for several years, DuckDuckGo for several months, and have been slowly transitioning from Gmail to having my email hosted on a Media Temple virtual server. And, the changes have been going smoothly — I haven’t found myself missing Google’s equivalents at all.

Media Temple is Acquired by GoDaddy ➝

I’m with Shawn Blanc on the GoDaddy acquisition. Sure, I could uproot my server situation and switch hosting providers. But, I’d rather do that when (and if) Media Temple gives me a reason to. As it stands right now, I’ve been extremely happy with all of the services that Media Temple provides and haven’t seen another company doing things quite like Media Temple does. If I’m given a reason to, I’ll switch in a heart beat, but I’m not convinced that’ll even happen.

Those that Made for a Better 2009

The year 2009 is over and 2010 is upon us. But, I think that we should reflect 2009, remembering the people that made the year better for us. There have been plenty of people that made my life better last year. There’s the obvious friends and family, but I specifically want to shine the spotlight on some of the writers, developers, and podcasters that made last year so good.

I’ll start out with an easy one. It’s not one person in particular, but all of the folks at Media Temple. They have been great to me this last year. And their fantastic 24 hour phone support is just the beginning, they’ve also moved my database to a SQL burst container (for free) when my web traffic demanded it. My site went down a few times throughout the year but Media Temple’s professionalism and courteousness went well beyond expectations, which managed to make up for any ill will that could have been built up from down time. I haven’t had too many web hosts in my time, but I can safely say that Media Temple is the best.

The next person I want to mention built two fantastic web apps that I started using this past year. Shaun Inman is the man behind Mint, a web analytics app that you host on your own server. Mint has been around for a while but I just discovered it this last year. I had been using Google Analytics for my sites but was very happy to find a good replacement which would keep all of my stuff on my own domain. But, it’s not only Mint, Shaun released an RSS reader in 2009 called Fever. I happily switched to it shorty after its release. The most clever part of Fever (and one of reasons I switched to it) was its use of a “Hot” section which displays the most popular links from the feeds I subscribe to. Shaun Inman has also developed an iPhone app, named Horror Vacui, a URL shortener called Lessn, and a sort of Quicksilver for the web service called Shortwave.

Speaking of Quicksilver, let’s give some credit to Nicholas Jitkoff. Nicholas now works for Google and the Quicksilver updates haven’t been coming as quickly as some of you may have liked, but the app continues to make my life easier every day. Nicholas Jitkoff developed an amazing app with Quicksilver, one with nearly limitless possibilities, and I’ve barely scratched the surface of it. Quicksilver isn’t the only application developed by Nicholas that made my life easier, though. He’s also the man behind Telekinesis, a simple application that you install on your Mac that allows you to access files and share your screen with your iPhone or iPod touch. It’s a clever (and free) application that comes in handy when I need it (albeit rarely). Nicholas has developed several applications and utilities that you can find on his website, Blacktree.

While Nicholas Jitkoff’s Quicksilver helped me be more productive, I’ve spent spent (or arguably wasted) countless hours with Tweetie. Loren Brichter’s delightful Twitter client for the iPhone. Earlier in the year Loren was well on his way to making it into this piece but really kicked it up a notch when Tweetie 2 was released in October. There’s no doubt that Loren Brichter made my life better with Tweetie 2 but his iPhone programming lecture at Stanford was what made me look up to him even more as a fantastic developer. Aside from Tweetie 2, Loren has also developed Tweetie for the Mac and Scribbles.

Later in the year I finally got around to signing up for Marco Arment’s Instapaper. Not only does Marco run Instapaper the service, he also developed the Instapaper app for the iPhone. Before using Instapaper I felt as though I was reaching a point where I was spending way too much of my time reading short-form content rather than the longer, more well thought out pieces that good writers put so much effort into. Marco’s service has made it easy for me to save all of the longer articles that I’d like to read. When I have time to read them I can do so where I’d like, whether it’s on my iPhone with Instapaper Pro, on the web, or on my Kindle using Instapaper’s fancy Kindle-friendly export feature. I really enjoy the fact that I read so much more well thought our pieces by the writers that put a little bit more into their articles, and it’s all thanks to Marco.

Speaking of writers, it’d be hard for me to write something like this without mentioning John Gruber. His website, Daring Fireball, is always the first feed I check when I load up Fever in the morning. Out of all the people mentioned here, John has probably had the most influence on me. Whether he’s writing 2000+ words on a JavaScript framework for iPhone web apps or writing about HTML5 he always manages to keep me interested from the first word to the last footnote.

I happened to discover Patrick Rhone this past year. Patrick Rhone is the man behind Minimal Mac, a weblog about minimalism, Macintosh, and related geekdom. Although I don’t follow Patrick Rhone’s “journal,” I do read every single word he writes on Minimal Mac. I’ve spent a great deal of my life trying to keep things simple and Minimal Mac has fed right into my obsession with minimalism.

One of my favorite podcasts is MacBreak Weekly, it’s one of the first podcasts I listen to when it shows up in iTunes. I enjoy all of the regulars on the show but one person stands out above the rest, Andy Ihnatko. Andy Ihnatko regularly writes for the Chicago Sun Times and his Celestial Waste of Bandwidth. But in my opinion, his best work is on MacBreak Weekly. He always has a fantastic pick of the week (whether it be a book or otherwise) and often times is the one trying to keep the other hosts from jumping to conclusions regarding whatever the latest outlandish Apple rumor is. I don’t read his articles as often as I’d like, but I always find time to listen to MacBreak Weekly.

The final person that made my life better in 2009 was John C. Dvorak. He’s another writer/podcaster and like Andy Ihnatko, I believe his best work is in his podcasts. He is a regular co-host on This Week in Tech and co-host of both DH Unplugged and No Agenda. Whether you agree with his political stances or not he does a great job of trying to keep Adam Curry grounded in reality on No Agenda and keeping the folks on This Week in Tech on topic. He always has something insightful to say and often tells fantastic anecdotes about the topic at hand.

2009 was a great year for me. I had a lot of fun, I wrote more than in any previous year, and I certainly read more than in any previous year. I consider all of the people mentioned here to be incredibly successful. All of them and their work certainly meant a lot to me this past year. And, without them, this year wouldn’t have been nearly as enjoyable or productive.

I’ve taken the time to build a Twitter list that includes all of the people mentioned here. If you’re even the least bit interested in any of them I would suggest following them on Twitter.

Update 1/4/09: Somehow I neglected to mention that Marco Arment is also the lead developer of Tumblr. Tumblr is a wonderful weblog platform that I used for a brief period of time in 2008. I really enjoyed using it but eventually decided to keep all of my content on my WordPress weblog instead.